SAN FRANCISCO: Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, conveyed his “serious concerns” about China’s increasing military activity during direct talks with President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
The meeting, held on the sidelines in San Francisco, addressed pressing issues, including military tensions near Japan, collaboration between China and Russia, and the significance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Kishida emphasized his worries about China’s military actions near Japan, urging the removal of Chinese buoys within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the East China Sea. The discussions highlighted the heightened military tensions in the Pacific, fueled by China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea and drills around Taiwan, a self-ruled island.
In response to Kishida’s concerns, President Xi stressed the importance of both nations following the “trend of the times” and working towards a Sino-Japanese relationship that meets the requirements of the new era. The leaders pledged to continue communication on these issues, acknowledging their roles as responsible superpowers contributing to regional and international peace.
Beyond military concerns, Kishida addressed the ongoing seafood ban imposed by China in response to Japan releasing treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima nuclear plant. He strongly demanded a calm response based on scientific evidence and the immediate removal of restrictions on Japanese food product imports. Both sides agreed to seek solutions through dialogue and discussions with a constructive attitude.
The Japanese Prime Minister also took the opportunity to renew his request for the early release of Japanese citizens detained in China. At least 17 Japanese individuals have been detained since China’s amended anti-espionage law in 2015, with ongoing diplomatic efforts to secure their release.
Additionally, Kishida shared insights from his meeting with US President Joe Biden, where an invitation for his official visit to the United States as a state guest was extended for early next year. The talks between Japan, China, and the United States underscore the complex geopolitical dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region.